Wednesday, 9 November 2016

He's A Rangers Fan, I Think?

There's no denying that the current sitting President of the United States is a sports fan. Barack Obama seems to enjoy meeting with the champions of each respective sport, but he really seems to enjoy when hockey players visit the White House. He cracked jokes about Phil Kessel during the Penguins' recent visit, and he always looked overjoyed when his beloved Blackhawks came to Washington to celebrate their victories. I'm pretty sure Barack Obama is the President with whom most sports fans would want to watch a sporting event due to him being a fan!

And that brings us to the President-elect in Donald Trump. No, this blog isn't going all political on you, but I've tried to find Donald Trump enjoying a game of hockey as much as it appears Barack Obama likes the game. As stated above, Obama seems to know players and their stories, so either he or his staff follow the game enough to make jokes and comment on the game, but I've never once seen or heard Donald Trump speak about the game.

He has been seen at New York Rangers games sitting alongside former pro tennis player John McEnroe. It looks like the two of them are having a good time, laughing about whatever topic caught their fancy at that moment. Trump, however, is wearing no Rangers gear, so we can't be certain he's a fan just yet. After all, fans usually sport some sort of gear when going to a game, right? This photo was reportedly taken at a Rangers-Capitals playoff game as well! C'mon, Mr. Trump, show some support for the team!

Seated on the other side of Donald Trump that night was his son, Donald Trump Jr., and another father-son combo as Michael J. Fox and son Sam Fox sat to the left of the two Donalds. After appearing on the Madison Square Garden jumbotron together, the elder Trump shook hands with the Foxes first followed by Donald Jr. extending the same courtesy. While I get that playoff tickets are harder to get, wearing some gear to one of the Rangers' biggest games of the season is almost a given, right?

Will Arnett is a huge hockey fan. He's been to numerous hockey games over the years, and it appears he had the seats to the right of Trump on this night. Melania Trump sat between Arnett and Donald Trump at this game, but neither Melania nor Donald wore any Rangers gear. Arnett, on the other hand, threw a New York Rangers cap on to show his support, but we still have no clear-cut evidence that Trump is a Rangers fan. The search continues.

Donald Trump Jr. has at least worn a jersey, it seems, as he donned a University of Miami-Ohio RedHawks jersey at some point. I have no idea what is happening in this photo, but it's clear that Donald Jr. is far more proud of the name on the back than the logo on the front. If you're a hockey fan, you know how important the logo is on the front in comparison to having one's name on the back. Didn't anyone teach this guy any sort of hockey etiquette before putting on the jersey?

After a little digging, I think I finally the first positive evidence that Trump could be considered a Rangers fan. During a special practice held by the Rangers at Central Park's Wollman Rink, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe presented New York Rangers' captain Mark Messier with a Parks cap as Donald Trump holds a Rangers jersey bearing his name. Credit Getty for this photo.
The photo was taken in 2003, so that Trump jersey may have been mothballed long ago by the Don. Now you might be asking why Donald Trump is even at the rink for this photo opportunity, but Donald Trump operated the Wollman from 1987 to 1991, and paid for the renovations of the rink in 1986 out of his own pocket to the tune of $2.25 million. Since 2001, Wollman Rink has been operated jointly by The Trump Organization and Rink Management Services of Mechanicsville, Virginia. Trump has his name on the rink's walls and Zamboni as a little self-promotion as well!

While I can't say with 100% confidence that the President-elect is a Rangers fan or even a hockey fan in general, Donald Trump does have ties to the Rangers organization from what I've gathered. Whether or not the Rangers will make an appearance at the White House in the next four years to greet the possible Rangers fan as POTUS is another question altogether!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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